George AdamsPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The portrait bust, erected at the gravesite, commemorates George Adams, publican and lottery promoter who died in 1904.  

George Adams (1839-1904)  started as a gold miner in Queensland before working on sheep stations in New South Wales and setting up a stock dealer and butcher in Goulburn. In 1875, he swapped the trade of meat to the trade of liquor and purchased the licence to a hotel in Kiama on the New South Wales south coast. He frequented the Tattersall's Club in Sydney and was a good mixer and 'a man with friends'. Three of his friends, Bill Archer, George Hill and George Loseby, purchased the O'Brien Hotel, the home of the Tattersall's club and told Adams to 'pay when you can'.

Within ten years, Adams was a wealthy man with the 'Tin Bar' replaced by the 'Marble Bar' at the O'Brien Hotel for £32,000 pounds. Tattersall's club members subscribed to sweepstakes run on race meetings throughout Australia and eventually Adams began to include his Hotel regulars and in 1881 he ran the first public Tattersall's sweep on the Sydney Cup.

Religious groups opposed this form of gambling and in 1892 convinced the New South Wales state government to pass laws prohibiting the delivery of letters containing sweeps. He moved to Queensland who soon introduced similar legislation and so in 1895 he moved his business to Tasmania. Six months later the Tasmanian Government passed the Suppression of Public Betting and Gaming Act prohibiting betting shops but legalising certain lotteries. This allowed Adams to find a home for the Tattersall's lotteries for the next fifty-eight years. Adams moved his home there and made Hobart home for the rest of his life.


Address:Queens Walk, Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Independent Section M, Site 4, Hobart Road, New Town, 7008
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.849737
Long: 147.320347
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription


George Adams

1839 - 1904

George Adams arrived in Australia from England in 1855. He worked many jobs on the mainland including successful years as proprietor of the Tattersall`s Hotel in Sydney where he began his sweepstakes.

In 1897, he was invited by the Tasmanian Government to operate his sweeps under and the legend of George Adams and 'a ticket in Tatts' flourished. 

Headstone :

In memory of George Adams (Tattersall)

Born at Sandon, Herfordshire, England. 14 March 1839. 

Died at Hobart, 23 Sept 1904,

Aged 65 years.

Beloved by all who knew him

The poor the needy and the suffering ever found in him a true friend

Source: MA,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au